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MMSC's primary goal for our patients is rehabilitation for release back into the wild. In cases when a seal cannot return to the wild due to a medical condition, a permanent home in a zoological facility is found to provide lifelong care and enrichment. Learn more about our former patients here!
These two little seals have BIG NEWS to share!
Both of our non-releasable grey seals have found permanent placement in zoological facilities and moved to their new homes in mid-September! You may recall that #22-060 (left) is visually impaired and unable to capture live fish, and #22-018 (right) has a cardiac condition that requires she be on medication for her entire life. We are thrilled that both of these girls will be provided with lifelong expert veterinary care, enrichment, and the companionship of other seals in these two world-class zoological facilities. Both seals will be amazing ambassadors for their wild counterparts, helping to inspire people to care about seals and their ocean habitat. Read their updates below!
Jo-Jo, a female grey seal, stranded in Ventnor on May 5, 2022. She was suffering from multiple lacerations and a swollen jaw. Her weight at intake was 43.8lbs. She was admitted into the ICU for veterinary and supportive care. She was bright and alert, however there were behavioral indications that she has difficulty with her vision. Upon examination by MMSC's veterinarian, it was determined that this seal is visually impaired. She had a good feeding response when presented with food by the Technicians, however she had difficulty locating fish in her pool, and was also unable to track and capture live fish. Despite being blind, she was very active and eating very well.
Due to the extent of her visual impairment and her inability to capture prey, her capacity to survive in the wild is extremely limited. Based on her diagnosis, she was deemed non-releasable. MMSC worked with NOAA and NMFS to find permanent placement for her in a zoological facility that can provide her with lifelong care and enrichment. Smithsonian's National Zoo offered to provide her a permanent home in their expansive seal exhibit in the "American Trail" section of the zoo. She moved to her new home in September of 2022. Now named Jo-Jo, she is thriving in her new home with the company of other Grey seals.
Grey seal #22-060 in the ICU
Echo, a female grey seal, stranded in Ship Bottom on March 15, 2022. She was very lethargic and suffering from multiple small puncture wounds on her body and head. Her weight at intake was 40lbs. She was admitted to the Pool House for her initial veterinary and supportive care, then later transferred to the ICU. Despite eating on her own, staff noticed that she was making slower progress than normal through the rehabilitation process. MMSC's veterinarian consulted with colleagues at Rancocas Veterinary Associates and Veterinary Cardiology Services. After a comprehensive exam using advanced diagnostic techniques, the seal was diagnosed with heart issues. The veterinary team prescribed a treatment plan with medication to help control her cardiac conditions. With medication her symptoms improved, becoming much more active and alert. The veterinary team has concluded that she will need to be on medication for her entire life. These cardiac conditions make her chances of being able to survive in the wild not likely to be successful. Based on her diagnosis, she was deemed non-releasable, and MMSC worked with NOAA and NMFS to find permanent placement for her in a zoological facility that can provide her with lifelong care and enrichment. Mystic Aquarium stepped up to provide this special seal a permanent home in their "Pacific Northwest" habitat. She moved to her new home in September of 2022. Now named Echo, she is thriving in her new home with the company of other seals.
Grey seal #22-018 stranded on the beach in Avalon.